Biography

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Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski

 

Abraham J. Twerski, M.D.
Founder and Medical Director Emeritus
Gateway Rehabilitation Center

 

Dr. Twerski, an ordained rabbi, held a pulpit until 1959 when he graduated from Marquette University Medical School and went on to complete his psychiatric residency at the University of Pittsburgh Western Psychiatric Institute. For 20 years, he served as clinical director of the Department of Psychiatry at St. Francis Hospital, Pittsburgh, and was an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine. He has been awarded honorary degrees from St. Vincent's College, Duquesne University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania based on his scientific contributions and community efforts.

Dr. Twerski stems from a long line of Chassidic greats, of the Chernoble and Sanz dynasties, and traces his ancestry to the Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Chassidic movement.

The author of more than 60 books, including collaboration with the late Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts characters, Dr. Twerski has been a guest on many television and radio programs and featured in hundreds of magazines, newspapers and publications world. Among his many books are Living Each Day, daily inspirational messages, Twerski on Prayer, Lights Along the Way, a commentary on Mesilas Yesharim (Path of the Just), Angels Don’t Leave Footprints, Life’s Too Short and Ten Steps to Being Your Best on issues of self-esteem,, and Getting Up When You’re Down on depression and related conditions.

Dr. Twerski’s books with the Peanuts characters, When Do the Good Things Start and Waking Up Just in Time have been translated into several languages. His mastery in story telling can be seen in Not Just Stories, a collection of inspiring Chassidic stories. Happiness and the Human Spirit is Dr. Twerski’s take on spirituality. Soon to appear is Formula for Proper Living, a guide to psychologically-sound living based on Torah sources. His popular weekly Seeking Solutions column in Hamodia has resulted in two volumes of Dear Rabbi, Dear Doctor, providing guidance on a wide spectrum of problems. His book, Addictive Thinking is a primer in the field of addiction. Dr. Twerski courageously pioneered awareness of spouse abuse among Jews in The Shame Borne in Silence, and addictive gambling in Compulsive Gambling, It’s More than Dreidel.

Just released is, “Without a Job, Who Am I?,” which offers a system of support designed to help individuals develop and sustain a true sense of self-worth and identity after being shaken by professional or economic upheaval. Click here to see this site's full list of Dr. Twerski’s books.

Dr. Twerski has lectured extensively on chemical dependency and other topics such as stress, self-esteem and spirituality. In addition, Dr. Twerski has traveled the world as a spokesperson for recovery on behalf of the millions who have achieved it and with goals that inspire, encourage and challenge those still finding their way.

Dr. Twerski first opened Gateway Rehabilitation Center in 1972 as a 28-day alcohol and drug dependence treatment center. A 2008 James W. West, M.D. Quality Improvement Award winner, Gateway Rehab also has been named one of the nation’s “top 12 rehabilitation programs” in a survey conducted by Forbes magazine and called one of the “best treatment centers” in both Rehab magazine and The 100 Best Treatment Centers Guide to Addiction Care. Gateway has since expanded to a network of facilities in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and its staff provides services to more than 1500 clients daily.

Beginning with the most recent, the following is a timeline of Dr. Twerski’s remarkable achievements.

2008

Received 50 Years of Service award from The Allegheny County Medical Society

Featured in the book, “Pittsburgh Born, Pittsburgh Bred” as one of “500 of the most memorable Pittsburghers who have shaped the region and the world in the past 250 years”

2006

Received the Michael Q. Ford Journalism Award from the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP)

2005

Received Gateway Rehabilitation Center’s inaugural Hope Award, now known as the Twerski Hope Award

2002

Received the Nelson J. Bradley Life Time Achievement Award, given annually by the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) to an individual whose lifetime has been committed to furthering the cause of addiction treatment

2001

Received Health Care Hero Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Pittsburgh Business Times, Allegheny County Medical Society and the Western Pennsylvania Hospital Council

1998

Received the Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh’s Caritas Award for Service

Received the American Psychiatric Association’s Oskar Pfister Award

1997

Received the Pennsylvania Medical Society's Distinguished Service Award, the Society’s greatest honor given to an individual for his or her dedication to work in the chemical dependency field

1991

Named a “Real Pittsburgher” by Pittsburgh Magazine

1980

Earned citation for “Contribution to the Integration of Religion and the Behavioral Sciences

1975

Received the Martin Luther King Citizen’s Award